It’s that time of year where celebrations and parties start to fill up the weekly calendar! Work Christmas parties, reunions, family gatherings and end of year celebrations are such joyful occasions – and they are often coupled with fabulous food and more alcohol than usual.
The thought of being on a ‘diet’ over the silly season is probably enough to throw in the towel before you’ve even begun. And fair enough! With parties, BBQ’s, lunches, dinners and everything in between, the festive season is often full of fun social activities and occasions. So it’s easy to assume that a ‘diet’ might hold you back, or be a buzzkill, but what if I told you that you can avoid gaining extra weight with just a few easy hacks? Here are my top tips for staying on track during the party season!
Plan, Plan, Plan
Plan when you are going to exercise. Same with your meals and your snacks. Identify your red flag’ situations and develop a plan of action. Decide what you’re going to eat as early as possible so you aren’t put on the spot and fall back on a less healthy option. Make smart calorie swaps on that vege bake you’ve been asked to bring, plan which low calorie booze you’re going to be drinking, and avoid hidden temptations by tracking your intake! For sit-down functions with several courses, if you can, have a look at the menu before you arrive or at least before you sit down. Remember, you don’t have to eat everything on your plate. Have enough to taste the dish but be aware during this time of the year, there is often more food coming!
Smash your workout in the morning
Get your workout done as soon as you get up can really help you stay on track through party season. This way, you can get it over and done with and focus on other fun things you might have planned. It may be one of the most hectic periods in the year but whatever you do don’t let exercise fall by the wayside. Schedule a training session on the morning of the function and don’t skip exercise the next day, even if it’s just a walk or toning session.
Over the holiday period when your calorie intake increases, you will really notice how exercise can help keep your weight under control. So devise some going out game plans and stick to them. You never know, in a few weeks you could leave party land in even better shape than when you entered it!
Also read: How To Deal With The Festive Build Up
One Drink, One Water
Make your first drink, and at least every second one thereafter, a sparkling mineral water or something else non-alcoholic. Sip it. It’ll help keep you hydrated and off the alcohol-lined slippery slope that tends to start when you down that first drink too quickly.
If you are with a friend or partner let them know that when you ask for a Sparkling Special (or whatever code name you come up with) you are after a non-alcoholic drink. So a Sparkling Special might be a vodka, lime and soda without the vodka but that’s our little secret!
Also read: The Best Ways to Stay on Track on Holidays
Plan for healthy festive meals
There’s no need to go nuts with your meals over this time. It’s not called the ‘silly season’ for nothing! But it doesn’t have to be. Think about using some super healthy recipes to share with friends and family instead. Fill your plate once and listen to your body. Once you’re full, you’re full. You don’t need to sneak in or shovel those ‘special’ foods. In reality most of those foods are available all year round. Fight the FOMO!
Christmas is a day, NOT a week, so don’t undo all your hard work! Eat mindfully and stay as active as possible! You can still have loads of fun while sticking to your positive food and exercise choices. You’ll feel so much better for these decisions. A healthy attitude is key!
Bottom line is, by following a few steps, you can easily stay on track throughout party season! There’s no reason for you to avoid it and go into hibernation. It’s a wonderful time to be social and to connect with people in your life. With forward planning and a clear strategy before you attend the festivities, you will get through all celebrations feeling your absolute best!